The Long Read

Everything you *need to know* is right above this. Scroll down, only if you'd still like to read more (honestly, why?)

Great question. Your nominee should know how to make a death claim so they can receive your insurance money that will help them avert any financial crisis after your unexpected demise. 


And if you are the nominee, this information will come in handy when you have to make a death claim yourself. 


Follow these steps to make a death claim on a term insurance plan: 


  1.  Inform your insurer right away about the death of the life insured to expedite the process. You can also get help from an insurance agent with the claim process in case the policy was bought from one.

  2. Fill out the claim form with all the necessary details and submit it. We know it’s an emotionally difficult time but avoid making any mistakes as it can result in claim rejection. 

  3. There are some additional documents you have to submit like: 

  • Death Certificate
  • Your ID proof 
  • Policy documents
  • Hospital records and discharge form (if applicable) 
  • Postmortem report (if applicable)

The list of documents will vary from insurer to insurer so, contact your life insurance company for the exact requirement. 


Don’t forget to follow this process to a T to avoid claim rejection.


4. Additionally, here is some information you should know. Beyond a nominee or an assignee, even a relative can do the claim intimation.


After filing the claim, the insurer will accept/reject it in:

  • 2 weeks (without any investigation requirement)

  • 120 days otherwise


P.S.: It’s wonderful you will be passing on this information to your nominee to make life easier for them during the claim process. 


Find out the additional steps you can undertake right after buying your term insurance policy to ensure a hassle-free claim process for your family. 


No, they can take the help of the insurance agent to file a claim. 

In such a case, a legal heir of the policyholder can claim the term insurance payout. They may have to show proof (such as heirship certificate/succession certificate issued by a court) that they are the legal heir.

It is a difficult time for everyone after the loss of a loved one but the term insurance nominee needs to ensure certain things to avoid claim delay or rejection. 


  • They must submit all authentic details and relevant original documents, or it can lead to a claim rejection


  • To avoid a claim delay, they also must address all further requirements from the insurer ASAP


P.S.: Remember, the term insurance claim will get declined if the life assured (aka you in this case) hasn’t given correct information or has not submitted authentic documents at the time of application


  • When the nominee is filling out the claim form, they need to take due care to fill it properly and avoid any mistakes or incorrect data entry


If your nominee does not feel confident carrying out the claim process on their own, they should reach out to the insurance advisor for help. 

Delay or rejection of term insurance claims can result in a lot of challenges for the nominee. But it’s important to know that it is not the end of the road. 


There are steps your nominee can take if your term plan claim is being delayed or denied.


Let’s find out how they can address this problem:


  • In case of claim delay - They can approach the grievance redressal officer of the branch servicing your policy


  • In case of claim rejection - Your nominee can contact the Claim Review Committee of the life insurance company. They should share all the claim details and get it officially acknowledged.

Pro tip: They can also complain if they have received a response from the insurer and are unhappy with it.

  • They can approach an Insurance Ombudsman if they're unhappy with the resolution 


  • If that didn't work out, they can escalate the issue to IRDAI. Their complaint should be resolved in two weeks


  • As a last resort, they can go to the consumer forum

Find out in detail what your nominee can do if your term insurance claim is being delayed or denied. 

After your nominee has filed a claim, the insurer will have to accept/reject it in 

  • 2 weeks if there’s no further investigation required

  • 120 days in case of any investigation

Yes, in most cases they will have to make separate claim requests if you have multiple term policies with the same insurer. But some insurers may allow them to claim the life cover from all the policies by filing a single form and quoting the policy numbers. 

But remember, if you have bought multiple policies from the same insurer and the policies have different nominees, they will have to file the claims separately. 

Yes, you should because the person mentioned in your Will will finally receive your insurance money. 


You may have named someone as the nominee on your term policy but this person may not necessarily be the intended recipient of your life cover. For example, you may have named your parent as your nominee but you ultimately want your live-in partner to receive your term insurance payout.


In that case you will have specified in your Will that your partner has the final and indisputable right to receive the life cover. If you were to die unexpectedly, the insurer will pay the money to your parent, but your partner will be able to claim it. 


In such cases, you should educate your nominees about your Will and who they should transfer the payout to in case they are not the intended recipients. 


But remember this, if you have purchased your policy under MWPA, then only your wife and kids will get the payout, even if the nominee on your Will is different from your wife or children.


Find out more about how your Will overrides a term insurance nomination. 

That’s a good idea! If you have bought your term policy through an agent, it would help to pass on your agent’s contact details to your nominees so that they can get help from the agent during the claim process. 

Simple. You need to tell your wife that she has the undisputed right to the policy money and she need not share that payout with any creditors, family members or any other people. 

The MWPA overrides a Will, so your wife will definitely get the claim amount even if you have mentioned someone else as the nominee on your Will.

No, your nominee can also settle a death claim online. Here is what they can do: 

  • Initiate the claim by informing the insurer about the policyholder’s demise by registering online/on phone call (dedicated claims customer care number)/any other digital touchpoint 

  • Fill up the claim form on the insurer’s website 

  • Upload scanned copies of all the required documents for claim processing as requested by the insurer


After filling the form and submitting the documents, the insurer may connect with your nominees with important reminders or additional requirements that the nominee needs to address ASAP to avoid claim delay. 


But, don’t worry. All these processes can be done online. However, it is always a good idea to double-check with your insurer once to ensure your nominee doesn’t face any hassle during claim settlement.

Don’t worry, your nominees or family can always connect with your insurer and can request help with the claim settlement process. 

In fact, contrary to popular belief, filing a death claim is not a hassle even if you have bought term insurance online. 

This is only possible if there is an appointee on behalf of your nominee. For example, if your term insurance nominee is a minor child, in that case, the appointee can claim your term life cover on behalf of your minor child. 

Someone who is not your nominee can only submit all the necessary documents for claim settlement on their behalf only if your insurer allows it. Remember, the term plan claim form needs to be signed by the nominee and they need to submit all the relevant KYC documents of the nominee. 

Will someone else be allowed to claim your life cover on behalf of your nominee, if the situation absolutely demands it? It will vary from a case-by-case basis so it’s best to check with the insurer. 

To make it easier for your nominees to access all your policy documents at the time of claim, here’s what you can do: 

  • Store the physical copies of your policy documents safely. Show your nominees how to access them.

  • Sync up your DigiLocker account with the digital copies of your policy documents. Inform your nominees about the credentials and how to access the account. 

  • Use an eIA (E-Insurance Account) to store the digital copies of your policy documents. Tell your nominees about accessing your eIA. 

  • Provide a set of copies of your policy documents to your agent (if you have bought through one). Share the agent’s details with your nominees and keep your agent informed as well. 

  • If your nominee is based outside your country of residence, they can also take help of your relatives in your home country to get hold of these documents


Remember, when you inform your family about your term insurance policy, it is also your responsibility to ensure they can access your policy documents easily, especially at the time of claim settlement. It is a good practice to keep both online and offline copies of your policy papers and educate your nominees about how to access those. 

While the below list is not exhaustive, generally your insurer will ask your nominees to submit these documents when making a death claim:

  • Death Certificate

  • ID proof (life assured and nominee)

  • Policy documents

  • Hospital records and discharge form (if applicable) 

  • Postmortem report (if applicable)


For policies with add-ons, nominees may need to submit additional documents to claim the benefits such as specific diagnostic reports for cancer (e.g. biopsy for skin cancer), disability certificate etc. They can also check the policy documents to find the list of additional documents specific to the add-ons. 

It is best to check with your insurer about the complete list of documents required for making a death claim. 

Yes, even under the new tax regime, your term insurance payout is tax free. And this is true even if your premium amount is more than ₹ 5 lakhs annually. 

In such an unfortunate situation, only the legal heir of that nominee can claim the share of the payout which was entitled to the nominee who passed away. The other nominees cannot claim that payout.